Wednesday, June 22, 2011
June 2011: A Month of Many Blessings
The greatest gift in the month of June was the division of the first branch in Bujumbura, which in six months to the day of it's establishment had 127 members. There is now a Bujumbura 1 Branch in the South of the city, and a Bujumbura 2 Branch in the northern end.The river is basically the dividing line.
We are still "running" each day to keep up with all that must happen here in Bujumbura. You will see Elder Frogley in the Quincaillerie (hardware store) as well as all over the city. He is a "fix-it" kind of guy and he does ALOT of fixing!!
We are continuing the English classes for the missionaries each week.
We have had another Elder's quorum branch activity, which was another Soccer/Frisbee activity. All of the young men that you see gathered around Elder Frogley came over from their Technical School to come and play. None of them are members.....yet. They always ask who we are and where we meet. Elder Frogley is teaching them about the church, in this photo. We have had several come to the church or meet with the missionaries.
Then there were many members that came out to play, too. Here you see Elder Mpoyi, Frere Methode, and Frere Salvator after a very hot game of soccer. Each great missionaries !!
Many, many preparations have happened in trying to establish "a face of the church" by meeting with the Senators, Cabinet members, Parliamentarians, Commissioners, the Chef de Cabinet and the Chef de Protocal of the President of the Senate. And finaly the President of the Senate himself. Here is one of the government buildings .
This is a waiting room t0 meet with the President of the Senate. Elder and Sister Evanson were with us that day. They are such great individuals with hearts of gold! We love them!
We had a wonderful Relief Society Activity where Sister Veronique taught the ladies how to make Candied Peanuts. Sister Frogley was asked to give a message on Order in the Home.
We also have worked very hard to say "goodbye" to our past Zone Leaders, Elder Kintembila and Elder Mouselle. It was very hard to have them go. We gave them a royal send off because they would not see the Packers before going home. These Elders did have an opportunity to talk with the Packers on Skype. That was a brilliant idea.
We also have two new wonderful missionaries, Elder Tshitumbu and Elder Muenyi.
To honor the two Elders leaving, the Sunday before their departure, the missionaries all wore their suits. They all looked so great. Don't you think so??
These fine Elders have many needs, we have one in the hospital right now. He had to have a double hernia surgery. So we spend alot of time with them trying to help them with temporal, physical and spiritual needs.
They are our friends!
Frere Johnson helped us find a fabulous building. It is very close to the Kamenge and Cibitoke Quartiers. It took alot of jostling but Elder Frogley was finally able to secure it. It used to be a school, so it is very large. It had not been inhabited for over a year, so it was VERY dirty. The Buj 2 branch members came last Saturday to DEEP CLEAN the building and clean 100 adult chairs and 20 primary chairs. They began by flooding the upstairs with many buckets of water, squeeging the upstairs water to the stairs,(which was a muddy waterfall) and then remopping. Bids are being taken now for remodeling to fit the needs of the church.
Here is a photo of the new building from the street. Amazing, huh?
Along with the dividing of the branch are two new Branch Presidencies.
Bujumbura 2: Pres. Hatungimana, 1st C.-Frere Simon 2nd C.- Frere Thomas with Clerk, Frere Jean Rene and Elder's Quorum Pres. -Frere Salvator.
In the Bujumbura 1 Branch, Branche Pres. Malabi, 1st C - Frere Aimable, 2nd C - Frere Minos
Here is another photo of the entrance into the new chapel building.
Presidents Packer and Mutshail were very busy this weekend with callings and sustainings. It was wonderful having them here. There were 15 new ordinations to the Melchizedek priesthood.
During that same week, we had a wonderful Zone Conference, which means our Mission President Packer and his wife, Sister Packer traveled 600 miles to come to Burundi from the mission home to be with us!!!
It is always a blessing to have them share time with us. They met with each missionary and were delightful as usual to share and plan with. It has been six months since we've seen them but we are so grateful for all that they do. They have a huge mission and many difficult places to get to. They have 130 missionaries to attend to as well. Communication is difficult because internet and power, in general, in Africa is just NOT GOOD. (Thus the reason there has been no new post on this blog for a month.)
There IS "opposition in all things", nonetheless the Master has said,
"...establish churches throughout the land and ordain priests and teachers over every church..
...notwithstanding many churches, they are all one church.."Mosiah 25:18-19,22
"...this is my church." Mosiah 26:22